NEW_CAR_PREVIEW

2013 Mazda 6 Preview

5/7/2013
Fast Facts:
  • Upgraded wheels added to upper trim levels
  • Touring Plus trim level is discontinued for 2013
  • 2013 is final model for second-generation Mazda 6
  • Upper trim levels provide extra safety features

Introduction
The Mazda 6 is classified by the maker as a "sports sedan," but it's a popular family car as well--a front-wheel-drive vehicle that's available in several trims, with a choice of engines and various optional upgrades. The Mazda 6 competes with family haulers such as the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, and Volkswagen Passat. It's available in a base i Sport trim level, or the i Touring, i Touring Plus, i Grand Touring, and s Grand Touring trims. The "i" trims feature a 4-cylinder engine, while the "s" trims employ a V-6.

Exterior Features
Available exterior colors include black, red, grey, silver, blue, and (at a slight additional charge), a premium white paint. Sixteen-inch steel wheels with full covers are standard on the base trim level, as are automatic headlights, fixed-intermittent front and rear windshield wipers, keyless entry, and power side mirrors. The Touring version adds 17-inch alloy wheels and halogen fog lights. The Touring Plus trim level adds 18-inch wheels, sunroof, and a blind-spot monitoring system. It also integrates turn signals into the side-view mirrors. Other styling touches are added to the upper trim levels.

Interior Features
The Mazda 6 Sport features air conditioning, power windows and locks, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable driver's seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, 6-speaker sound system, USB port, and a full complement of cupholders. The Touring trim level adds leather to the steering wheel and shift knob, and power adjustments to the driver's seat (with manual lumbar adjustment), and a trip computer. The sound system is upgraded with a 6-disc CD changer and Bluetooth connectivity. The Touring Plus trim level includes fancier instrument gauges, while the Grand Touring trim level includes leather upholstery with heated front seats, as well as dual-zone climate control, upgraded information display, rearview camera, and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system. The Mazda 6 provides 16.6 cubic feet of trunk space.

Optional Features
Many of the upgrades offered on the upper trim levels are available as options on the lower trim levels. The Technology package, available with the Grand Touring trim levels, includes automatic xenon headlights and wipers, keyless entry and ignition, heated outside mirrors, auto-dimming rearview and driver's-side mirrors, power passenger seat, memory functions on the driver's seat, and satellite radio. A voice-activated navigation system with 7-inch screen is also available with the Grand Touring trim level.

Under the Hood
The 2013 Mazda 6's standard power plant is a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 167 lb.-ft. of torque. The "s" models employ a 3.7-liter, 272-horsepower V-6 engine that makes 269 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard engine comes with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic with manual shifters, while the V-6 is offered only with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard with both.

Fuel Economy
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Mazda 6 are:

  • Mazda 6 with 4-cylinder engine: 21/30/24 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Mazda 6 with V-6 engine: 18/27/21 mpg

Safety
Standard safety features of note on the 2013 Mazda 6 include anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, front side air bags, and side curtain air bags.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2013 Mazda 6 an overall rating of 4 stars (out of 5) in its crash tests: 4 stars for driver's side front-impact protection, 3 stars for passenger-side frontal-impact protection, and 4 stars for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Mazda 6 a "Good" rating--its highest--in frontal-offset and side-impact tests, and an "Acceptable" rating for roof strength.

Technology
Mazda is working on a new generation of automotive technologies that it calls Skyactiv. The objective is to provide high levels of driving pleasure, combined with outstanding environmental and safety performance, according to the automaker. One of its current projects is a new-generation, direct-injection gasoline engine that the maker says is the world's first mass-produced gasoline engine to achieve a compression ratio of 14.0:1. Mazda says the vastly improved engine efficiency, resulting from high-pressure combustion, delivers a 15% improvement in both fuel economy and torque, particularly in the low- to mid-range where it is most useful in practical driving situations.

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